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Australia: Data of 14 million loan company customers stolen

Consumer finance firm Latitude Financial said on Monday that hackers had stolen the personal information of about 14 million of its Australian and New Zealand customers.

The company had already warned of the incident in March, which initially involved the theft of 330,000 customer data. But on Monday, the company said in an internal study that the breach was much larger — nearly half in both countries.

“We recognize that today’s announcement will be a distressing event for many of our customers, and we apologize,” the company said.

According to the company, 7.9 million Australian and New Zealand driver’s licenses and 53,000 passport numbers were stolen.

At least 6.1 million records dating back to 2005 and information such as names, addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth were also hacked.

Hackers took employees’ login credentials to steal information.

Ahmad Fahour, managing director of Latitude Financial, said the company was doing everything it could to improve the sites affected by the attack and was implementing additional security measures.

Latitude Financial said it was working with government cyber security experts and its own consultants, and the Australian Federal Police had also opened an investigation.

The company said it would refund customers who decided to change their documents.

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